It’s been a little while since my last post as I continue to struggle into my fifth month of TSW. The physical torment and mental torture continues to take its toll on me, although I feel I am staying strong for the most part thanks to understanding and supportive family and friends as well as words of encouragement from fellow sufferers on social media support groups. But damn, it sure is hard.
The topic I want to write about today (at 2am in the morning on another sleepless night) is something just about every one of us going through TSW has dreamed about — finding that miracle cure. Okay, maybe not even a cure, but that one thing that can alleviate the symptoms or speed up recovery enough for us to get back to normality much sooner than otherwise. It could be anything: supplements, changes in lifestyle or diet, exercises and meditation, phototherapy, creams, ointments, herbal remedies, essential oils — you name it, I will try it. And I feel like I have probably tried them all.
I’m going to do future posts on the various supplements, creams and other products I have tried over these past five months and their various perceived efficacies, but the reality is — THERE ARE NO MIRACLE CURES FOR TSW. While I don’t believe time is the ONLY thing that will heal your body — there are scientific ways that should speed up the process — the sad truth is that no matter what we do, we will inevitably have to suffer and suffer for a very long time.
I think it’s important for everyone going through TSW to acknowledge that right from the outset, so there are no unrealistic expectations and devastating disappointment when goals and targets are not met. I, like many others who have embarked on this journey, thought at the beginning that I would be one of the few to make a full recovery in six months or less. I felt I was relatively healthy otherwise and in a positive frame of mind, and I believed I had secret weapons such as potent traditional Chinese medicine remedies, incredible supplements, special creams/sprays, and diet plans. I thought combining all of these ingredients would equate to a super speedy recovery.
Of course, I could not have been more wrong.
I can’t believe when I started TSW on Nov. 15 last year that I thought I might be largely recovered by late February this year, and when that didn’t happen to be still optimistic enough to think it might happen by April. Instead, I have barely left the house for nearly six weeks. Right now, I’m just hoping to be functional enough to leave the house by mid-July. I really want to celebrate my wife’s birthday because she deserves it so much after what I’ve put her through these last few months. That, and because I want to be in tip-top condition when I watch my most anticipated movie of the year, War for the Planet of the Apes!
Having said all that, I don’t want this post to discourage anybody in trying to find some kind of remedy that works for them, something they feel can lessen their suffering or speed up the healing process. As Andy Dufresne once said, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” It’s important to not lose hope during TSW (I’ve seen some people in utter despair after go through this for more than four years, wondering if it will ever end). That is why I don’t understand some people who actively discourage others in trying to find alternative therapies, shooting down any suggestions and insisting that it’s simply a waste of money.
To be fair, I have spent literally thousands of dollars in TSW trying to find something — anything — that even remotely feels like it works. Apart from TCM and acupuncture expenses, new supplement shipments just about every week, and new creams, ointments, sprays, etc from the pharmacy on a regular basis, I’ve also forked out money on a mini trampoline and a red light unit. And the thing is, I don’t know if any of these expenditures have even helped because there’s no alternate reality for me to compare it against. I can’t only trust that I’m doing the right thing and not making things worse or slowing down my recovery. All I can do is conduct a lot of research and discuss it with others who have tried similar approaches.
Now, even IF none of these things have worked, I don’t regret spending that money for one second. Because if just one thing among all the things I have tried has alleviated a bit of my pain and suffering or sped up my recovery by just a little, it would have all been worth it. That’s why I’m still looking around online on most days for any recommendations from TSW warriors, reading articles and studies on the effects of various supplements and therapies. Finances permitting, the agony of TSW is too overwhelming for us to not at least TRY to make the ordeal easier.